Leaders of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) yesterday hit back at Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis after he criticized the party at an Exuma town meeting over the weekend for not supporting a disaster management contingency loan being facilitated by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
PLP Leader Philip Brave Davis urged Minnis to “stop blaming the PLP”.
PLP Deputy Leader Chester Cooper, who represents Exumas and Ragged Island, said it is “offensive that he is campaigning using the people’s money”.
Minnis’ comments came as he unveiled his government’s plans for Exuma on the island on Saturday.
“How could he put in his mouth that the Progressive Liberal Party will not be concerned about disaster relief?” asked Davis, outside Charlotte House.
He added, “It’s time to stop blamestorming, prime minister, and start brainstorming. If there are any brains there to storm with. At the end of the day, the Bahamian people will judge.”
Reiterating his party’s position on the loan, Davis said there is no need to secure it because there there is no disaster to manage at this time.
“So, why put on the books a contingency loan that is not necessary at this time, when you yourself have been complaining about how the books look?” he asked.
In January, the government debated and passed two resolutions to borrow $130 million from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
The four opposition members voted against the resolutions.
Davis further insisted that the prime minister has been campaigning on the public purse.
“He’s campaigning on the public’s purse, that he ought to bring these matters in the House of Assembly,” he said.
“Man up and speak to us in Parliament and let’s debate these issues in Parliament.”
Cooper said he “had hoped, beyond all reasonable expectation” that the prime minister “would speak to the community about beneficial developments for Exuma and leave politics out of it”.
“I was mistaken,” said Cooper.
“Not only is it comical that the prime minister seeks credit for capital works that have been developed over successive administrations, it is offensive that he is campaigning using the people’s money.
“If he would only resist the temptation to be petty and realize he should be the prime minister of all the people of The Bahamas, not just FNMs, we would all be better off for it.”
Cooper asserted that the IDB loan contingency was badly negotiated and one of the chief reasons the party didn’t support it was because the funds can’t be used to replace permanent infrastructure.
“Meantime, the people of Ragged Island are left to fend for themselves as the prime minister shamelessly touts how much he covets another term in office,” Cooper said.
“What should have been some welcome good news for Exuma, has been sullied with political discord.
“The prime minister should know better, but he has so far exhibited no inclination to do better.”